Cocaine, who doesn't know the drug? Movies are made about it, books are written about it and even Freud's psychoanalysis seems to be based on it. The drug is classified as an illegal hard drug worldwide and its production and use are heavily punished. Billions are made annually from this trade and the police in the Netherlands speculate that criminals earn the most in this branch. Cocaine is highly addictive and as a user you will be up to your ears in it before you know it, with all the mental and physical consequences that this entails. What is cocaine made of and where does it come from?
Illegal cocaine trade in the Netherlands
Cocaine is a go-to drug alongside alcohol used in nightlife. The fact it’s illegal doesn't seem to make it any less popular. Annually, about 75 million euros worth of cocaine is snorted away in Amsterdam alone. This was measured by the city's sewage, where enormous amounts of the drug were found.
Newspapers constantly report on incidents concerning drug trafficking, and a 2019 study of cocaine trafficking in the Netherlands made a stir in the administration. The report, sound “De achterkant van Amsterdam," (Behind the scenes of Amsterdam) describes how the Netherlands is a "Valhalla for drug criminals and coke bosses”. Amsterdam is the hub, where large sums of money are laundered.
The Netherlands acts as a distribution or transit hub for the cocaine trade in Europe. From here it is distributed to other countries. The Netherlands is not a producer, as is the case with, for example, XTC pills and amphetamines. Besides the Netherlands, Spain is also a country that plays a major role in the distribution of cocaine.
A large part of the stuff comes in through the major ports, including Antwerp and Rotterdam. Alternative routes are also used, such as the smaller port of Vlissingen and via air transport. Almost all the coke that enters via the Belgian port of Antwerp is first transported to the Netherlands and then distributed from there.
Distribution of cocaine is a multi-billion dollar industry
The cocaine business is a trade in which enormous profits are made and billions are earned. The transportation of the drug is a billion dollar industry in which Amsterdam gangs play a major role.
This is an example from an investigation by the National Information Service to show that this is a huge trade:
One kilo of coke from Colombia (the main production country) would be worth around 2,000 euros. When this quantity arrives in the Netherlands, it has increased in value to 27 000 euros. The buyer ends up paying much more. It has been calculated that a user pays an average of 50 euros for a gram of coke. The initial kilo is now worth 50,000 euros. In other countries one pays much more for a gram of coke, so the value can reach 150,000 euros.
The cocaine trade is growing. In 2018, police seized some 74,000 kilos of coke at ports in the Netherlands and Belgium. The year before, it was 55,000 kilos.
There are also increasing numbers of young people who are entering this illegal circuit at a young age.
Common names for coke
Cocaine is one of the most popular drugs in nightlife, along with other substances including alcohol, nicotine and cannabis. The drug is usually snorted, but can also be smoked or injected. Popular names for the drug include coke, sos, sossa, lala, white and Charlie.
The use of cocaine is highly addictive. After only a few uses, you enter the danger zone and there is a good chance you will want to use more often.
Among other things, cocaine gives you an energetic feeling, an altered consciousness with more need for social contact, less inhibitions. You can feel fine and elated or relaxed, but also agitated and tense. The effects of coke come on within a few seconds to a few minutes and last between 5 and 90 minutes. As a result, you quickly use several times in the same evening.
An expensive addiction
Regular use of coke quickly leads to addiction. With this, users find themselves in territory that requires entire salaries to be maintained.
Cocaine is addictive because it acts on the reward system in the brain. The neurotransmitter dopamine plays a major role in this. More of this substance produces a happy feeling and pleasure.
The drug causes this substance to stay in the brain longer, making you feel good. Serotonin and norepinephrine also stay in your system longer. More serotonin plays a role in your positive mood, sense of sex and sensory perception, among other things. Noradrenaline keeps you alert.
Consequences of snorting cocaine
With frequent use, the number of dopamine receptors in the body decreases. Hence, in the long run, many users become less and less sensitive to pleasure and enjoyment. Many users experience a great emptiness in their lives, with everything taking on a gray edge. You need more and more of the drug and become less sensitive to life. Quitting the drug causes withdrawal symptoms.
There are also physical consequences: Regular use of coke increases the heart rate and body temperature. The heart becomes overloaded, making you more susceptible to heart attack and stroke. Users are also more likely to suffer from lung problems, blood poisoning and cardiac arrest when they smoke the stuff.
The harmful effects of cocaine in a nutshell:
- Rapid breathing
- Heart disease
- Feeling anxious and tense
- Feeling easily worked up
- Menstrual problems
- Sleep problems
- Greater chance of stroke
- Increased blood pressure
- Heart problems
- Loss of sense of smell
- Problems with sex
- Depending on the method of use, weight loss occurs or a person gains weight by overeating.
- Anxiety, panic attacks and suspicion
Freebase, crack and other forms of coke
Cocaine comes in different forms, some more harmful than others. It all starts with the coca plant, Erythroxylum coca. Originally, people chewed the leaves of the plant in order to absorb the active alkaloids into the body. The effects are very different in this way, compared to the synthetic form.
Cocaine paste: This is an extract made from the leaves of the coca plant. It contains a high concentration of active ingredients, including cocaine sulfate.
Freebase: this is cocaine in its solid form, or base form. Through the chemical process you get an almost 100% pure product, which is very strong and even more addictive than 'regular cocaine'. In this form it is easy to smoke. The effects come on very quickly and are intense. There is a greater risk of overdose because it is difficult to dose.
Crack: is made by mixing powdered cocaine with water and another element, usually baking soda. This whole thing is boiled and then it turns into a solid form.
People who advocate for a healthier world during the week, drink organic smoothies, are vegetarian, do running, and then use coke on the weekends are labeled with the popular Dutch term "yoga snorters” . In various articles and on the Internet, these people are blamed for ruining their healthy and conscious lifestyle by using this drug. The fact is that the illegal coke industry has disastrous consequences for nature.
In 2021, Colombian President Ivan Duque announced to continue the War on Drugs by spraying coca plantations with the toxic glyphosate from the air. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Roundup, which caused a stir and has been banned in several countries. It is linked to cancer and miscarriages. It also causes the earth to become infertile.
Are you addicted and want to stop?
According to figures from the Trimbos Institute, the average use of coke in the Netherlands is high. Of the Western countries included in the study, only Australia and the United Kingdom scored higher.
If you use regularly, there is a good chance that you will create dependency at some point. Quitting is difficult, especially when your social circle revolves around drugs. Quitting means letting go of your friends (temporarily), especially at times when snorting is involved.
If you feel you are using too much cocaine and want to stop, there are always paths that can lead you to healing. Seeking help is a first step, you are not alone and have nothing to be ashamed of!
Natural Sirius Supplements
Sirius sells smartshop supplements designed to take your nightlife to the next level. They are based on plant extracts, vitamins and minerals. The consequences of taking these supplements is in many cases only beneficial for your health and the day after use you feel energetic, rested and full of positive energy.
It makes sense: instead of depleting your body and building up a deficit of important substances in the brain, Sirius' smart drugs provide your body with additional replenishment.
You get an energy boost, so you can dance for hours without getting tired. And dancing itself also provides a whole range of substances that make you feel good.
This is due in part to plant extracts from Griffonia simplicifolia, which allow your body to produce more serotonin. And, serotonin is very important for feeling good, calm and balanced.
EZ Tests, After C, Mood Doctor
If you do want to use cocaine, make sure you minimize the negative consequences. According to the principles of harm reduction, the chance of damage is reduced the most when you, as a user, inform yourself as well as possible about the drug you are going to take. Know what you are taking! It is best to have your drug tested, or do this yourself with the help of an EZ Test kit, for sale at Sirius. This will help you find out if it is the drug you bought. Although cocaine is relatively pure on the market, all too often it is adulterated with other junk.
A second precaution is to take After C (after cocaine). This dietary supplement ensures that your deficits of dopamine and serotonin are replenished as quickly as possible. After C contains the amino acid L-Tyrosine and Pyridoxine (vitamin B6), substances that help balance the nervous system, after using cocaine.
Mood Doctor is a natural antidepressant that helps with dejection, anxiety and depressive feelings.
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